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Old 29-08-2013, 17:48   #1
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How Old is Too Old for Paper Charts

Hi all,

I have quite a few paper charts of the west coast, including two bound collections from the early '80s. They even have instructions on how to clean abalone .

Should I relegate these to the history channel, or are they usable for navigating today?

BTW, I do have gps and radar, etc.

Thanks, Bill
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Old 29-08-2013, 17:56   #2
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Re: How Old is Too Old for Paper Charts

use em. i think last official update was something like 1865 or such, as far as i can recollect--cant remember farther back, sorry..
i am using older than y0urs--is ok---there are still same things there unless they were made gone..... if you have a gps, they will make a good addition, even being old.
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Old 29-08-2013, 17:56   #3
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Re: How Old is Too Old for Paper Charts

Hi! Pitch them! They have no current navaids value. Take care!

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Old 29-08-2013, 17:59   #4
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Re: How Old is Too Old for Paper Charts

I was using some charts in Sardinia from 1978. They were good for giving me the over all picture of where I was but not so good for careful navigation.
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Old 29-08-2013, 18:05   #5
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Re: How Old is Too Old for Paper Charts

down west coast they will help . in mexico there are marinas where there used to be nothing--for example,mazatlan where the marina area was dredged about 35 yrs ago there--- entrance is tricky.entrance to old harbor is just as it was on the old charts.
banderas bay has a marina where there used to be an anchorage and the depths off bucerias are different than on charts, and have been since th e marina was built 5-6 years ago, and there are big rocks 2 ft under surface just outside the marina entrance, in th e anchorage, where it says 14 or 18 feet depth.....
barra de navidad--no essential change as this place is constantly changing, being a sand bar...but the one thing not changing here is the wave deflector--yes it shows up on old charts.

your old charts are good to keep--do not pitch em. add to them. use pencil.
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Old 29-08-2013, 18:12   #6
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When I deliver a yacht if i dont have paper charts I go to blue water charts in lauderdale and they print me the most up to date charts.

If I have the charts, travel the area regularly, and am confident I'll let the charts ride for a few years..,

My Bahamas charts are pretty dated, but I know FTL to or from anywhere in te Bahamas sea reckoning, so I don't worry..
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Old 29-08-2013, 18:13   #7
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Re: How Old is Too Old for Paper Charts

As long as you correct them to current (although, wow, I'd buy new if I was facing that), if they haven't been superseded, you should be able to use them. Plug the numbers in here and see:

Notice to Mariners Chart Updates

A lot of the basic data for charts in my part of the world dates to WWII. Mostly it's just navaids that change, and as long as the publisher tells you what those changes are, you're looking at the same information you'd get on a shiny new version. I've still got a bundle with old LORAN overlays that are kept up-to-date and accurate.
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Old 29-08-2013, 18:17   #8
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Re: How Old is Too Old for Paper Charts

My Chart for Vav'au Tonga was 1867....it was out..the electronic chart was exactly the same 'cos it was taken from the only available paper chart.

BUT we never hit anything 'cos we only use charts as an "AID" to navigation, not the total answer....keeping a good lookout is the best thing !

I never throw out old charts...I like them for their historic idiosyncrasies !
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Old 29-08-2013, 18:58   #9
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Re: How Old is Too Old for Paper Charts

Nav aids may have changed over time, points on the map may no longer be there, in some Gulf and Atlantic channels may no longer be there and/or moved . Good for general navigation lacking anything else. Wouldn't trust them for navigating without other visual cues. There are posted notices to mariners to update charts, have never done it however. Believe they only go back to the last printing of the chart. If your chart has had a print revision, the changes won't be in the Notice to Mariners.

http://pdept.cgaux.org/Documents/Act...%20(05-11).pdf

http://www.uscg.mil/hq/cg3/cg3pcx/pu...utchartupd.pdf

FWIW, most of the charts we used in the Marquesas and Tuamotus were xerox'x of soundings done a 100 or more years before.
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Old 29-08-2013, 19:07   #10
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Re: How Old is Too Old for Paper Charts

Running a delivery business on the west coast, i never got rid of my paper charts for a couple of reasons... I didn't have faith that the chart plotters on some of the newer yachts I delivered and wanted a back up... secondly, I made personal notations on the charts about hazards that weren't readily apparent, specific nav aids that changed over the years and were not included in Notice to Mariners that were published regularly. Besides, having something that was personalized made navigating pretty straight forward. Some of the crew got a kick out of notes of phone #'s made over the years of interesting and friendly folks in a variety of ports up and down the coast
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Old 29-08-2013, 19:48   #11
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Re: How Old is Too Old for Paper Charts

I use Bellingham 2/3 size copies @ $5.95 each as backup for electronic charts....I like to chart my daily runs on paper during ocean crossings.
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Old 29-08-2013, 21:58   #12
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Re: How Old is Too Old for Paper Charts

Those old charts are as good as any!! and some of them are better! I have charts that show fishing areas that were closed in the 60s and before! and anchorages that are gone on new charts ! Believe me if ya want to catch a Halibut a few of my old charts show halibut grounds that were closed to fishing when the chart were printed!! Those same grounds are not shown on current charts !! Personaly I never throw an old chart away! and if I find some I don't have I buy them !! But ya know I never leave home without my Coast Pilot books!! specialy on the west coast !! Just my 2 cents
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Old 29-08-2013, 22:21   #13
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Re: How Old is Too Old for Paper Charts

Quote:
Originally Posted by Teknav View Post
Hi! Pitch them! They have no current navaids value. Take care!

Mauritz
Uses current charts when flying.
You know there are web links for historical NOTAMS. I would suspect the same for Notice to Mariners. Just make the appropriate notes but always take care. Not every harbor-even in the USA-has the equivalent to FAA Flight Check. Even new charts start going out of date at the time of printing.
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Old 29-08-2013, 23:02   #14
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Re: How Old is Too Old for Paper Charts

I think it would depend on the chart.... small scale charts used offshore would, I think , have an indefinite life ( mine do ) as very little if anything changes. Large scale of a remote area? Ditto.... it was only a few years ago that the NZ Hydrographic office cancelled the last of the plans done by Cpt Cook.... down around Dusky Sound somewhere... and I'm pretty sure there had been no chart corrections for it in the 200+ years.

Large scale in a 'busy' area?..... 'old' can become very old very quickly.... one case in point... Singapore - they have reclaimed that much land around the island that even Sultan Shoal lighthouse is now landlocked.
One other point that may have been missed.... when a new edition of a chart is published there will often be a considerable number of changes on that chart that have never been the subject of Notices to Mariners. So no matter how far back you can access old notices you will never see reference to these changes.
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Old 29-08-2013, 23:08   #15
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Re: How Old is Too Old for Paper Charts

Old paper Is an adequate backup for (current) e charts. Offshore and coastal charts are no problem, lights may change but land doesn't move fast enough to be a concern. The closer you get to shore the more caution is needed, barrier islands and depths change from hurricanes, lack of dredging , etc. By the time you are on harbor plans, it is best to have something reasonably current as busy harbors change frequently, although some remain fairly static over the years. If your are on older charts it is Always good to invite someone over that has been where you are going for a glass of rum and get them to show you on your chart what they know of the area and make notes on them.
Ideally it would be nice to have new up to date charts for every voyage, but at $20+ a chart that is not going to happen. I use electronic charts for everyday use, being far more economical and paper for the backup and keeping a current plot offshore. Also,as others have noted even the most current and corrected charts may be wrong if the the latest published data hasn't been updated in decades or longer.It all depends on the amount of commercial traffic in the area. A remote Pacific atoll may have been last surveyed 200 years ago, while information on the Houston ship channel is updated within days or less of any changes.
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